General Motors Unveils New Data Center, Announces Another

There is little denying the success that Dan Akerson has enjoyed as he has looks to turnaround the Detroit automaker. Less than a year ago, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’ CIO Randy Mott announced that the automaker would stop outsourcing its IT work and GM hopes to model its new data center after Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOG)’s and Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB). The company’s new data center has been designed to be easier to maintain and expand, and less expensive to cool than older, conventional data centers. It is General Motors Company (NYSE:GM)’s hope that through a hybrid of proven and experimental technologies, it will be able to double the amount of IT projects the company can take on at the same time.

General Motors Unveils New Data Center, Announces Another

Today saw the public unveiling of GM’s data center in Warren, MI which has been online since January.

At the same time, the automaker today confirmed that it will invest $258 million to open a new data center at its Milford Proving Grounds after receiving a tax abatement from Milford Township to construct the facility.

The two centers are expected to “mirror” each other, which is important in case one center goes down owing to an outage. This is all a part of CIO Randy Mott’s plan to see the number of data centers General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) uses reduced from 23 to 2.

“Having a single nerve center for our global operations will get newer vehicle designs and technologies into our customers’ hands quicker and improve the bottom line,” Akerson said in a statement. “IT is back home where it should be, and it further drives unnecessary complexity from our businesses while improving our operational efficiency and better supporting our business strategy.”

Following this model, the company will be able to “insource” 90 percent of its IT workload.

“We had five, six key suppliers of IT services and each one of them had their own little control center, and we couldn’t see any of what was going on in our network,” Chief Executive Dan Akerson told reporters at a media event in Warren.

“Today we can look into our plants, our production, where supply chain is a problem or an asset,” said Akerson.

Additionally, GM expects the new centers to cut costs significantly. For example, General Motors Company (NYSE:GM) said the new systems would allow it to crunch data quickly through digital crash test analysis, saving $350,000 for every actual crash test that doesn’t have to be conducted.